So You Have an Idea — Now What?

By SGW Team

Are you a small business, startup, or inventor and you have an idea, but aren’t sure if (or how) to proceed? If so, it’s good to make an honest assessment now, before making costly investments or taking other unnecessary risks to get your idea off the ground.

We see it all the time: people become so married to their ideas that they end up developing the wrong products — products the market doesn’t need. Even bigger companies occasionally come to us with a great idea and assumptions about how their idea fits into use cases, but we often find those assumptions to be incorrect.

Where’s the Value — In the Idea or the Execution?

First, it’s important to recognize that you may have what the idea world calls an “ugly baby.” You likely believe your idea is perfect just the way it is, but you may be too close to the thing to see its existing flaws — or eventual downfall.

Even if you have an idea that’s a brilliant one, another common misconception among inventors that their ideas are highly valuable. In reality, ideas have very little value. Much of an idea’s merit lies in its execution, specifically in the proof that the market cares about the problem a product solves — and that the market feels the idea is a good solution to that problem.

Are you as an entrepreneur adequately equipped to conduct a thorough market analysis with the intent to validate (or invalidate) your assumptions about your product and its fit in the market? With most larger clients, we tackle this with prototyping or iteration, but that can be spendy for startups or smaller businesses. 

This brings us to another important topic related to launching a product: the financial implications.

The True Cost of Giving an Idea Life

It often takes anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000 to bring a product from concept to manufacturing. (Most smaller entities usually have only a few thousand dollars to get a project going.) 

Even when an inventor has $30,000 stashed away to bring their dream to fruition, they might still encounter unexpected financial setbacks along the way. By this time, they’re often so committed that they may start pulling loans and retirement funds — not a position any inventor wants to find themselves in.

A Better Way to Execute an Idea

What if there were a robust, yet low-cost method for validating (or invalidating) an entrepreneur’s assumptions about their product and its fit in the market? Imagine if you as an inventor could determine if your idea has real potential to succeed — without draining your life savings or wasting years of valuable time going back to the literal drawing board.

In answer to this need, we launched the Idea Tester in early 2020. With this service offering, we do more than test an idea and the problems it’s trying to solve — we provide inventors with valuable input from real, potential customers in their target market as well as guidance from our leading product development experts.

The Idea Tester equips smaller entities with our product suggestions, potential solutions to problems, and a qualitative response. This feedback is invaluable in helping an inventor know what features to emphasize or if some features need to be tweaked. Our typical turnaround on the completed survey is less than one week.

Is the Idea Tester Right for You?

Our Idea Tester service offering may be a good fit if you have an idea and:

  • Are a smaller company, a startup, or an individual/inventor.
  • Have a budget of $30,000 or less.
  • Are unsure of what features to include in your product.
  • Haven’t yet received market validation for your product. (Idea tester achieves this result “lite” — without yet beginning the expensive process of prototyping or iteration.)

Learn more about the Idea Tester or get started here.

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